Jake Coker, Alec Morris or Cooper Bateman? Alabama fans and media members wondered who head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin would call on first against Wisconsin. Crimson Tide nation was able to exhale with senior quarterback Jake Coker, as he took the field Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. A strong ending to fall camp paid off for him.
Coker waited behind Florida State’s EJ Manuel and Jameis Winston and Alabama’s Blake Sims, but Saturday night was all about him. He handled the stage and managed the game.
Coker developed rhythm in the offense and placed balls on the hands of wide receivers. He took a few shots downfield that resulted in underthrown passes, but was near flawless overall.
Coker engineered four of Alabama’s five touchdown scoring drives and tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Robert Foster in the second quarter.
One thing Coker can’t afford to do moving forward is take sacks.
He was sacked twice by Wisconsin’s senior outside linebacker Joe Schobert. Both negative plays came from the left side of Alabama’s offensive line. Coker has to feel when pressure is coming and throw the ball away.
After months of speculation and concern, Coker showed that he can lead Alabama’s offense.
He completed 15 of 21 pass attempts for 219 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers.